War of the Worlds – Don’t Miss It!

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It may be the best radio program ever broadcast.  Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater Listen to Stitchercompany’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’ science-fiction thriller, War of the Worlds.

But the lawyers at CBS were nervous about what Welles was planning to broadcast. They told him to tone it done.  It was too realistic.  Too frightening.  They didn’t want so much realism.  Don’t use the names of real places and people.

But Welles was persistent and demanding.  And he was good at what he did.  And that meant a big audience.  That would sell a lot of advertising.

The program that Welles broadcast on that Halloween evening in 1938 still resonates today.  It’s great radio.  It’s realistic.  And it can be frightening if you forget that it’s the magic of radio at its best.

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